Dubai Water and Electricity Authority (DEWA) has awarded a contract for construction work of its new headquarters, called Al-Shera’a (Arabic for sail). DEWA awarded the AED 981,960,889 contract to a consortium comprising Ghantoot Transport & General Contracting and Ghantoot Gulf Contracting. Construction is expected to be complete within 30 months.
DEWA previously awarded the first phase of construction, worth AED 46 million, to Dutco Balfour Beatty, which brings the total cost of the building’s construction to over one billion dirhams. Al Shera’a will be built in Jadaf in Dubai, and will be the tallest, largest, and smartest government Zero Energy Building in the world. Total energy used in the building during a year will be equal to or less than the energy produced on site during that year. DEWA’s new headquarters has been designed to receive a platinum rating by LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and a silver rating from the WELL Building Standard. DEWA will later announce two more phases to implement work on the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the photovoltaic solar systems for the building.
“We work to achieve the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai a global centre for clean energy and green economy. By building Al-Shera’a, we establish a global benchmark for buildings that achieve a balance between development and the environment, to protect the right of future generations to live in a clean, healthy and safe environment. This supports the UAE Vision 2021 to make the UAE one of the best countries in the world, and the Dubai Plan 2021, to make Dubai the preferred place to live, work, and visit,” said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.
Al Tayer said that Al-Sheraa’s built-up area is over 2 million square feet. The building will have 15 floors, a basement and 4 floors of car parking. The building can house more than 5,000 people. Facilities will include a 500-people auditorium, training halls, a creativity centre, an exhibition hall, a nursery for the children of female employees, and a gym, among others. The building will have over 20,000 square metres of photovoltaic solar panels rated to over 4,000 kilowatts. There will be 1,000 square metres of Building Integrated Photovoltaics. The building will generate over 6,500 megawatt hours (MW/h) a year of renewable energy.
Al-Shera’a’s design was inspired by the UAE’s traditional houses, where enclosed spaces overlook an open courtyard. The courtyard will be the focal point and most prominent feature of the building. To reduce heat in the open courtyard, a sail design is used to provide shaded areas. Natural light during the day will stream through specific openings in the sail, giving sufficient light without the associated heat. The courtyard will have sustainable gardens. The courtyard will give occupants and visitors an outdoor feeling in an indoor setting. The building will use the latest technologies including IoT, Big Data and Open Data, AI, and the latest smart-building management technologies. The building is intended to use 50% less water than regular buildings.
DEWA’s new headquarters will be directly linked to Jadaf metro station by a bridge. This will encourage the use of public transport, to reduce traffic and the carbon footprint.